A good cover letter can mean the difference between catching the hiring manager’s attention and languishing in job search limbo. But many job seekers find it hard to stare down that blank page. How do you summarize your most important qualifications in a way that makes it clear that you’re the best candidate for the job? Cover letter templates can help.
A cover letter template will give you a "fill in the blank" format you can use to create your own letter to send with your resume when you apply for a job. It will save you a few steps and help you structure your letter in a professional way.
Free Microsoft cover letter templates are available online from Microsoft Office Online, as a download for Microsoft Word users, or are available within your Word program, to use to create cover letters for jobs. Note that not all templates may work with all versions of Word, so check before you download. There will be a message next to the download button advising if there are restrictions.
Free Microsoft Word Cover Letter Templates
There are a variety of templates available for Microsoft Word. Template options include general cover letters and both job- and career-specific cover letter samples. For example, there are cover letter templates for professionals, temporary workers, and candidates who are sending in their resumes unsolicited.
Microsoft Word also offers a variety of different cover letter template designs, with resume templates to match. Note that if you choose one of these fancier template designs, you’ll want to choose a resume template to match.
Access Cover Letters From Your Computer
Open Microsoft Word, then click on:
Then, search for online templates by typing your keywords (e.g., “cover letter”) in the field provided. Review the options and choose the design you like best.
Access Templates Online
If you don’t own a copy of Microsoft Office or a subscription to Microsoft 365, you can still access cover letter templates. These templates are free and editable online.
Visit the Microsoft Cover Letter Templates website, browse the cover letter templates, then click on the title to preview the sample. You'll need to sign up for a free account to edit the document.
Once you find a template you like, click Edit In Browser, then follow the instructions to customize and save your cover letter. There are also sets, which include matching resumes and cover letters, available to use.
Use the Template to Create a Customized Cover Letter
Once you have downloaded or opened a cover letter template file, type over the text in the file to create your own, personalized cover letter. The template will include all the relevant information that you need to include in your document. Simply change the generic version to include your personal and professional information.
To customize your cover letter further, look for a contact person at the company, ideally the hiring manager or HR contact, and address the letter to this person. If you have an employee contact at the company who is willing to refer you, be sure to mention them as soon as possible in the cover letter. Employee referrals carry a lot of weight with hiring managers.
Double-check to make sure there is none of the template information left in your final saved version. Finally, carefully proofread for grammar and typographical errors before saving and sending your cover letter.
To avoid sending a blank template or the wrong version of your cover letter, choose a file name that’s easy to remember. It should always include your name and may also contain the name of the position to which you’re applying.
More Templates for Resumes and Letters
Additionally, Microsoft resume templates are available as a free download for Microsoft Word users to use to create a resume. Microsoft Word resume options include basic resumes, job-specific resumes, and career-specific resumes.
It’s important to be consistent in your application materials, whether it’s matching your cover letter to your resume or choosing a font or format. Ideally, your experience should stand out to the hiring manager, not focus on your stylistic choices.
Avoid version numbers and cutesy nicknames when choosing a file name for your resume.
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